Milestones at 4 Months

There’s a lot happening as your baby begins to explore the world. You can help this along by providing toys that are bright and interesting and playing games like peek-a-boo. Here’s a look at what a baby typically does at 4 months:

Social / Emotional Milestones

  • Smiles on his or her own to get your attention
  • Chuckles (not yet a full laugh) when you try to make him or her laugh
  • Looks at you, moves, or makes sounds to get or keep your attention

Language / Communication Milestones

  • Makes sounds like “oooo”, “aahh” (cooing)
  • Makes sounds back when you talk to him or her
  • Turns head towards the sound of your voice

Cognitive Milestones (learning, thinking, problem-solving)

  • If hungry, opens mouth when he or she sees breast or bottle
  • Looks at his or her hands with interest

Movement / Physical Milestones

  • Holds head steady without support when being held
  • Holds a toy when you put it in his or her hand
  • Uses his or her arm to swing at toys
  • Brings hands to mouth
  • Pushes up onto elbows/forearms when on tummy

Concerned About Your Child’s Development?

All babies are different and develop at their own pace. If your infant has not yet reached some of these milestones, it doesn’t necessarily mean something is wrong.

Still, you know your child best. And developmental delays or disorders are most successfully treated when caught early.

If you have concerns, don’t wait.

Talk with the healthcare provider if you think your child...

  • Is not meeting milestones for his or her age
  • Has lost skills he or she once had, or is not doing something you’d expect him or her to be doing

Or if you have concerns about...

  • How your child plays, learns, speaks, acts or moves
  • Other things your child does

SOURCE: These developmental milestones, established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics, provide a general idea of what most children (75% or more) do at this age.

See also ... 

•  What your 4-month-old is learning and experiencing

•  Looking ahead: Development at 5 months

This message is not intended to provide individual medical advice. Always seek the advice of a physician or qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have about your health or medical condition, your breastfeeding issues and your infant's health. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you have read in our emails, webpages or other electronic communications.

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